There are many types and sizes of skylights. So to simplify, there are 5 basic types of skylights and 2 common installations. In most cases, you’ll find a residential skylight on a pitched roof and a commercial skylight on a flat roof. The five basic types of skylights are fixed, venting, roof windows, sun tunnels, and architectural, while the common applications are either deck or curb mounted. Fixed skylights are an economical choice for visually expanding areas such as hallways, stairwells, and other closed-in dark spaces.
Vented skylights are available in both manual and electrical styles. The manual unit is operated with either a hand crank or extension pole, while the electrical or motorized skylight is usually operated via a remote control or wall mounted switch. A venting skylight brings in natural light and fresh air into the home. Installing skylights of this type also contributes to a home’s proper moisture balance and comfort level by allowing stale, humid air to be released.
Roof windows are designed for in-reach applications that require egress emergency escape capabilities. Examples include above-garage bonus rooms, lofts, and finished attic spaces. Roof windows also feature a ventilation flap that allows air circulation when the window is closed.
Sun tunnel skylights (sometimes called solar tube skylights) are ideal for smaller rooms where a view of the outside isn’t necessary such as closets, hallways, laundry rooms and second baths.
Lastly, architectural skylights, sometimes called industrial skylights are used in special applications. For example, pyramid style skylights for historical renovations, large skylights for a shopping mall, or a large round skylight found in a hotel atrium.
Deck mounted skylights are most often used on new roofs with good pitch, while curb mounted skylights are used to either replace existing skylight domes, or used as skylights for flat roofs.
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